Next Meeting: Monday 17th September ‘An Update on Broadway Station’

The next meeting of the Broadway History Society and the first of the 2018/19 Programme of Events, will take place on Monday 17th September with an illustrated talk by Richard Johnson from the GWSR. Richard will be updating us on Broadway Station which reopened in March.

The meeting will start promptly at 7pmand will take place in main hall in the Lifford Memorial Hall, Lower Green, Broadway. Refreshments will be served at the end of the meeting.

During the meeting Hon.Treasurer Mary Smith will be collecting subs for the 2018/19 year, £10 for individual membership and £15 for a couple (cheques payable to ‘Broadway History Society’).

Debbie Williamson

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Able Seaman Robert Warner Clarke and the Sinking of Submarine HMS P311 January 1943

Today we remember Able Seaman Robert Warner Clarke of Broadway who died, aged 19, 75 years ago during the Second World War. Robert, known as Bob, was a member of the crew on submarine HMS P311 when she was sunk by a mine on 8th January 19431 off the coast of Tavolara Island, a small island to the north east of Sardinia.

Bob, was born in Broadway, one of nine children of Frank Thomas Clarke and May Clarke (née Meadows). After the outbreak of the Second World War, Bob enlisted with the Royal Navy Submarine Service and was posted to serve on HMS P311.

On_Board_the_Submarine_Depot_Ship_HMS_Forth,_Holy_Loch,_Scotland,_1942_TR526

1942: On board Submarine Depot Ship HMS Forth, Holy Loch, Scotland. The depot ship HMS Forth is transferring a practice torpedo to the HMS P311. HMS Sibyl (P217) is seen alongside and another submarine can be seen in the background.

HMS P311 was a T-class submarine and the only boat of her class never to have been given a name. She was launched on 5th March 1942 and commissioned 5 months later on 7th August. HMS P311 was supposed to have been assigned the name Tutankhamen but was lost before this was formally done. She had joined the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta from Scotland in November 1942 and was attacked and sunk whilst en-route to Maddalena, Sardinia sometime between her final signal on 31st December 1942 and her failure to report on 8th January 19431.

When HMS P311 was lost she was carrying a crew of 71 men, commanded by Richard Douglas Cayley, DSO, RN2. The wreck recently found by divers on 21st May 2016 close to Tavolara Island in the Mediterranean. The vessel is reported to be in good condition with only her bow damaged by the mine explosion and all the bodies of the men are reported to be still on-board having died of suffocation.

Prior to her sinking, whilst in Malta, Able Seaman (no. P/JX 321879) Robert Clarke sent the following letters3 home to his family in Broadway:

4th December 1942

Dear Mum, Dad and all at home,

I hope you received the cable alright & that you are having some good weather & keeping well. I am feeling lovely as where I am the weather is scorching hot. How is everyone down Broadway, tell Dennis Cook4 I will drop him a line very soon but it’s hard to say how long it will take to reach him. When you write to Sid5 tell him I am ok but I don’t expect to see him for a very long time. I wish I could tell you where I am & what this place is like but I can’t.

When you write to me it is best to send it by CW Graphs as they don’t take long to travel.

I am only allowed to send one page so for now I will close with lots of love to all.

From Bob.

20th December 1942

Dear Mum, Dad and all at home,

I hope this short letter finds you in the best of health as it leaves me. I hope you all had a good Xmas as I didn’t do so bad myself accordingly. Last night I had a great surprise I walked into a club with my mate and met Eddie Procter6 the chap from Willersey who married Kathleen Keyte from the bottom of our avenue, he looks well and seems quite happy, him and I are going out together tomorrow if everything is ok.

Has Sid been home on leave lately or has he gone abroad? I would like to see him now. I expect it will be a long while before I am home again but when I do come I hope to have some money saved up. Did you get the £2 I sent to go on my Savings Book that Auntie has got? I will send some more as soon as I can if you will put it on the Book for me.

Give my best to Nibs and all the rest, and tell Kathleen Keyte I saw Eddie.

With all my love Mum,

From Bob.

Bob and the rest of the crew of HMS P311 are commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial (Panel 74, Column 1) in Hampshire and Bob is commemorated on the War Memorial in Broadway.

portsmouth-naval-war-memorial2

Portsmouth Naval War Memorial, Hampshire

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:

  1. HMS P311 was reported overdue on 8th January 1943 when she failed to return to base and it is now presumed that she was sunk by Italian mines on or around 2nd January 1943.
  2. Richard Douglas Cayley (1907-1943) was one of the most decorated British submariners of the Second World War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1941. His prowess earned him the nickname “Deadeye Dick”.
  3. Bob’s letters are published with the permission of Andy Clarke.
  4. Dennis G. Cook (1922-1977).
  5. Sid was Bob’s older brother born in Broadway in 1921. Lance Corporal 11416496 Sydney Richard Clarke served with the 7th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. during the Second World War. He died, aged 24, on 1st April 1946 and is buried in the churchyard at St Eadburgha’s Church, Snowshill Road, Broadway, and is commemorated on Broadway War Memorial.
  6. Edgar William Proctor served with the 44 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Flight Sergeant/Air Gunner. He was killed, aged 22, on 22nd January 1944 and is buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany, Collective Grave 6. L. 1-7. Son of Thomas and Emily Proctor and husband of Kathleen Elsie Proctor of Broadway, Worcestershire, he is commemorated on Broadway War Memorial.

Next Meeting and Talk: Monday 20th November 2017 ‘A Victorian Christmas’

Our next meeting and talk will take place on Monday 20th November 2017 in the Parlour at the Lifford Memorial Hall, Lower Green, Broadway. The meeting will start at 7pm and our guest speakers will be giving a talk on ‘A Victorian Christmas’.

Everyone is welcome to our meetings. Non-members £3 on the door. Refreshments are served at the end of the meeting.

 

 

Snapshots of Victorian Broadway (The People of The Census Returns)

morris-family
Left to right: Eliza A. Morris, Jane Morris (née Phillips), Joseph W. Morris (back row), John Morris (front row) and Mary A. Morris. Photo c1900: Tom Morris

Following the Society’s 2017 Annual General Meeting on Monday 15th May, Broadway History Society Committee Member, Geoff Sanders, will be giving an illustrated talk depicting the wealth of information, and the pitfalls that might be encountered when researching the seven decades of the Broadway Census Returns from 1841 to 1901.

The progression through the decades follows one prominent villager, John Morris1 (the first resident Minister of Broadway Congregational Church) and his descendants, with explanations and interpretations of the vast amount of information available from the censuses. Geoff’s talk will illustrate how a census return can be littered with errors and ‘red herrings’. He will explain how published pages often reflect third-hand information with spoken names being written by the census enumerators rather than the householders which, combined with the local ‘Broddy’2 dialect, led to some interesting entries and interpretations.

The 2017 AGM and Geoff’s talk will be held in the Lifford Hall Parlour, Lower Green, Broadway, on Monday 15th May 2017 starting at 7pm. Refreshments will be served at the end of the AGM before Geoff’s talk which is expected to start around 7.30pm. All welcome. Non-members £3 on the door.

Broadway History Society
May 2017

——————
Notes:
1. John Morris (1784-1864), father of Joseph Wilson Morris (see above photo), was ordained as the first resident Minister of Broadway Congregational Church (now Broadway United Reformed Church) in 1816. He resigned in 1825 to set up his grocery and drapery business.
2. ‘Asum’ grammar for Broadway.

Embroidered Bodies: Textiles Exhibition at Broadway Museum & Art Gallery 5th May – 10th September 2017

Embroidered Bodies: Textiles Exhibition, BroadwayClothing tells a multitude of human stories with each embroidered stitch contributing to the tale. The Embroidered Bodies: Textile Exhibition at Broadway Museum & Art Gallery will include a selection of garments drawn from the Eastern and Western textile collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Works will include a diverse range of garments from hats to shoes, stomachers to collars, dating from as far back as the 1400s right up to the 20th century.

Broadway Museum & Art Gallery, Tudor House, 65 High Street, Broadway WR12 7DP, tel. 01386 859047, is open daily Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

Admission costs £5 with child and family tickets at a reduced cost. For more information about the Museum and the exhibition visit www.broadwaymuseum.org.uk.

 

 

Burrows Bakery, Broadway

Burrows Bakery, which overlooked the village green in Broadway (now home to John Noott Galleries), was started by Wilfrid Burrows (1876-1958) in 1904.

Born in Broadway in 1876, Wilfrid was the eldest son of Michael Burrows, a carpenter and his wife Emma (née Malin), a gloveress. Wilfrid and his three younger brothers; Arthur, Hubert and Edgar were brought up in the village (the family lived along Matches Alley), and Wilfrid and his brothers attended school in Broadway. By 14 years of age, Wilfrid had left school and was apprenticed as a baker. Although Wilfrid’s father was not a baker, the wider family had been bakers in the village and millers at Lower Mill for many years.

Wilfrid married Emily Benfield (1873-1947) from nearby Chipping Campden in 1900 and they moved to Leamington Road next door to Colin Farm. Shortly after their marriage, Wilfrid and Emily opened their own bakehouse, Springfield Bakery, along Springfield Lane.

Wilfrid opened his bakery on the village green in 1904 where he was assisted by his wife and family. His daughter Constance (born in Broadway in 1902) helped in the shop which later expanded to sell groceries, and his son Reginald (born in 1907) in the bakehouse. Burrows’s delivery handcart and horse and cart were a common sight in the village and in 1908 Wilfrid further expanded the bakery when he purchased an old established Broadway bakery run by Mr Jones (of Barn House, High Street, Broadway) and combined the two. By 1911 William Harris, who had moved to Broadway from Chipping Campden, helped in the bakehouse, later joined by Harry Walker.

When Wilfrid retired, his son Reginald took over the family business and was joined in 1941 by Edmund Frank Andrews. Edmund, known as Frank, took over running the business in 1957 and Reginald sold the bakery to Frank and his wife, Lillian, in 1958. In 1963 Frank and Lillian moved Springfield Bakery to the Leamington Road where it remained until they retired in May 1979.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

15th May 2017: Annual General Meeting and Talk by Geoff Sanders on ‘Snapshots of Victorian Broadway (The People of The Census Returns)’

Our second Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 15th May in The Parlour of the Lifford Memorial Hall starting at 7pm.

After the AGM, Committee Member, Geoff Sanders, will give an illustrated talk on Victorian Broadway. Geoff has been researching the census returns for Broadway and his talk will refer to his research and the information that can be obtained from a census.

Refreshments will be served during the meeting. All welcome, non-members £3.

The AGM and Geoff’s talk is the last in the series of talks for 2016/2017. Our next meeting will be held on Monday 18th September with a talk by Keith Cattell entitled On a Wing and a Prayer – The Cathedral Builders.